Paterson Public Schools District HiLites

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See you in September

June 20, 2016

In this issue:

  • School 6 secures two district titles
  • Gearing up for summer learning activities
  • School 18 hosts a poetry reading
  • Teachers of the Year Recognized by Board of Education

Effective Academic Programs

Napier Academy Was all A-buzz with Superior Spellers

The annual District Spelling Bee took place over the course of two days at the Dr. Frank Napier, Jr. School of Science and Technology and was as exciting as ever. Spellers from grades 1 through 4 took the stage and were presented with increasingly complex words until eliminations reduced the field to winners in each grade. Here are the first place winners for 2016:

  • Grade 4, School 25, Laura Solano
  • Grade 3, School 6, Zhyon Wilson
  • Grade 2, School 10, Ayden Mendez
  • Grade 1, Edward W. Kilpatrick, Evelot-Robles-Ramos

Spelling Bee winnersSpelling Bee winnersSpelling Bee winners

Quiz Bowl 2016 Looked Back at the Civil War

This year’s annual Quiz Bowl competition queried combined 4th and 5th grade students on their knowledge of facts and figures surrounding the US Civil War. With multiple-choice questions presented on the big screen at International High School, the 15 schools represented competed long and hard until eliminations determined the 2016 champions. Following a first-place win at the District Spelling Bee, it was School 6 that surprised everyone with a Quiz Bowl championship in which they were the only team to not lose a single head-to-head match during the competition!

Quiz BowlQuiz BowlQuiz Bowl

Summer Learning

School 9 Rutgers boundNine 8th graders from the Charles J. Riley School 9 were selected to participate in the Rutgers University summer program: School of Environmental and Biological Sciences.  During the week of July 11-15, students will learn from Rutgers professors, staff, and graduate students. Students will participate in experiments, lab tours, workshops, and field trips. In addition, they will take part in leadership and professional development activities and their evenings will be filled with social and recreational activities. The students were selected through a rigorous process of applications, entrance essays, and interviews. This is sure to be an experience they will never forget!

Their Day in Court

School 2 law adventureThanks to a Fieldtrip NJ grant obtained by ESL teacher Jessica Egger, 7th  graders from School 2 participated in the 2015-2016 NJ Bar Association’s Law Adventure at the NJ Law Center at Rutgers University. School 2 students served as jurors for the mock trial program to both understand the importance of their civic duties as citizens, as well to gain an understanding of the mock trial program so that they may write and submit original legal briefs for the competition as 8th grade students next year. “We are incredibly grateful to both the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, as well the Community Foundation of NJ for their generosity in awarding us a Fieldtrip NJ grant. This was a critical experience for the students involved, and they have expressed a great desire to participate in the competition next year,” said Ms. Egger.

Dual Enrollment for Twenty

STEM Dual Enrollment ProgramTwenty International High School (IHS) students have been accepted to the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Dual Enrollment Program at Passaic County Community College (PCCC) which begins this summer. Through dual-enrollment, they will earn high school and college-level credits simultaneously.

These students will have the opportunity to become part of the fastest growing sectors of industry. Throughout the academic year, these students will participate in hands on workshops, at STEM-related facilities. They are scheduled to meet leading edge technology experts in fields like: Biology, Psycho-acoustics, Computer Hardware and Software, Space and Aviation, Biotechnology, Computer Forensics, Speech recognition and more.

School 24 at Metropolitan Museum of Art School 24 visits Botanical Gardens

Fifty School 24 students had a whirlwind tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art as they visited Greek and Roman, Egyptian, African, New Guinea, Asian, French Impressionist, American Modern, and Renaissance galleries, then ended up in the Hall of Knights and Armor.

Students from School 24 visited the NY Botanical Gardens in the Bronx, where they learned about American Impressionism and the flowers artists used in their paintings. Students had the chance to sketch flowers in the greenhouse, and later move on to a courtyard to create new paintings with pastels.

CAHTS Student Selected

School of Culinary Arts, Hospitality and Tourism (CAHTS) at Eastside student, Yudefyl Batista, was the recipient of one of eighteen $1000 scholarships bestowed by the Educational Council of Passaic County. Yudefyl will be majoring in Business at Kean University in the fall.

The Educational Council of Passaic County, a non-profit organization consisting of the executive county superintendent of schools and the presidents and vice-presidents of educational organizations. The Council was formed to provide a forum for public educational issues and to establish continual cooperation in the promotion of effective education within schools.

And Soon the Harvest

Dale Avenue School’s Mrs. Fatica established a school vegetable garden to connect the kindergarten students to where foods come from. The students planted vegetable seeds and continue to take care of the garden.  A harvest day is planned when the students will pick, prepare, and eat a salad with these vegetables. Their art teacher, Mrs. Lagunes, incorporated the garden theme into the beautification of the playground area. The students painted nature scenes such as vegetable plaques, they also painted birdhouses to hang over the garden area.

DALE garden

Young Mens Academy at William Paterson U

DBTA College Week

3rd through 5th grade students from the Paterson Leadership Academy for Young Men enjoyed a walking tour of William Paterson University. The aim was to impress upon the young men that it is never too soon to start thinking about, preparing for, and attending university.

Don Bosco Academy held a highly successful College Week event that featured a door decorating contest, representation from various college destinations including the Army and Navy and others. Students received take-home assignments that included input from their parents. The event, spearheaded by School Counselor Mr. Griffiths, had a theme of, “I am never too young to start thinking about college.”

Student Scholarships

Student Scholarships

The annual “College Sendoff” event hosted by the New Jersey Community Development Corporation and Passaic County Freeholder T.J. Best provided over $25,000 cash scholarships to worthy graduating seniors including 50 who were in attendance that evening.


100 Years Later…

Current 8th graders at School 7 will be graduating this June, 2016 - the same year that the National Park Service will celebrate their 100th birthday. These 8th graders have been dubbed the “Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park's Centennial Class” by the National Park Service (NPS).

In honor of their graduation, the students have put together a capstone project that celebrates their work with us over the past four years. The project focuses on Paterson's multicultural heritage. This year in social studies, the 8th graders completed a unit on immigration.  Paterson Great Falls staff along with School 7 teachers took the students on two field trips to explore this topic in more depth. The students were exposed to the immigration process at Ellis Island through an innovative facilitated dialogue program. They returned to Manhattan the following week to see where some of these immigrants lived on the Lower East Side and then sample the variety of ethnic foods of the period through their visit to the Lower East Side Tenement Museum.

Later in the school year, the students participated in facilitated dialogue training through the organization Sites of Conscience, and collaborated with course facilitators, park staff, School 7 educators and one another, to put together a program for 5th graders from School 7, the new freshman class. The 8th graders will teach their younger colleagues about Paterson's multicultural heritage past and present by exploring the change in Paterson's food culture over time.

Great Falls and School 7Great Falls and School 7Great Falls and School 7

Well “Versed” Cougars

School 18 presented their first Poetry Reading assembly program hosted by the Cougar Poetry Club founders, Ms. Nunez and Ms. Rey. Poets ranged from second grade, fifth through eighth grades as well as teachers and staff. Students expressed their deep feelings of loss, hope, love, talents, humor, and much more. Luis Diaz, drummer played Latin rhythms to the beat of each poem. Students felt proud to be able to articulate themselves through poetry so powerfully. Parents were overjoyed to watch and listen to their child read their poems in front of an audience.

The school will be introducing new “Paw Poets Club” for students in grades 2 through 4. Students will go through the same application process as the other grades. They will be asked to fill out an application, submit an original poem along with teacher recommendations.

Cut! That’s a Wrap!

The Rosa L. Parks School of Fine and Performing Arts welcomed Michelle Regina Iacobelli, First Assistant Director of the American Film Series to their Commercial Art class.  It was an exciting visit filled with enthusiastic inquiries from the students about the film industry. She spoke about her educational path, endless hours of unpaid internships and acceptance into the Directors Guild of America. Ms.Iacobelli has worked on: SVU Law and Order, Enchanted, and The Notebook to name a few. She was able to enlighten the class on the inner workings of film directing and her responsibilities.

Michelle Regina Iacobelli

Enumerating with Mom and Dad

The 1st and 2nd grade Math Team at School 18, along with administrators and district supervisors, did a wonderful job organizing their first Math Family Fun Night. It was a great turnout with140 people in attendance. The school’s objective was to include the community in exploring the wonders of Math with their children. The event was a complete success!

They Finally “Tied the Knot”

After learning that the letters "q" and "u" stick together, the 10 kindergarten classes at the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Educational Complex participated in the "wedding" of the letters Q and U. During the ceremony, the children each held a “groom” Q and a “bride” U on a Popsicle stick. Principal Monica Florez presided over it. In place of the phrase, "You may now kiss the bride." Ms. Florez said, "You may now lick your ring.”  (Each of the students was wearing a candy Ring Pop). Following the ceremony, each teacher hosted a wedding reception.

Creating and Maintaining Healthy School Cultures

Celebrating our Excellent Educators

The 2016 Governor’s Educator of the Year Program took place at the John F. Kennedy Educational Complex prior to the June Board of Education Meeting. Honorees and their guests were treated to a dessert reception in the cafeteria, followed by the presentation of awards and a bouquet of flowers for each school's Teacher of the Year. Teachers were introduced by the assistant superintendents representing each Operational Unit, and were accompanied to the stage by their principal. This year’s festivities were kicked-off by spirited performances from the Paterson Leadership Academy for Young Men’s drum line and chorus. The 2016 Governor’s Educator of the Year Program was organized by Interim Chief Human Capital Officer, Ms. Adriane Esquilin and her staff in Human Resources.

Teachers of the Year 2016

A Model Role Model

Cindy Munoz

Student Cindy Muñoz of School 24 was honored by the Youth Guidance Council of Paterson with a "Students That Have Made a Difference" award. Cindy is a straight-A student, class valedictorian, and concert mistress in the PS 24 Concert Band. Her work tutoring classmates, helping with Donors Choose grants for her teachers, performing at Carnegie Hall with Sir James Galway, presenting daily announcements on the PA system, acting as MC at school events, and serving as an altar girl at church make Cindy a standout in school and the community.


Recently, 125 fifth grade students at School 27 completed the ten week Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) “Keepin’ It Real” program under the tutelage of Officer Mike Sugalski and the sponsorship of the School 27 PTO. The DARE program helps students to resist pressures that may influence them to experiment with alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. The Decision Making Model assists students with problem solving, being a good citizen, and helping them to make wise decisions. One student from each class was chosen to read their essay at the graduation.

School 27 Keeping it Real

For Art’s Sake

CAHTS at the Apollo

Students from Culinary Arts Hospitality and Tourism School at Eastside visited several different NYC landmarks. The students saw different tourist destinations and experienced a guided tour at the African-American Studio Museum. The trip started at World Trade Center Memorial, followed by the famous Apollo Theater, and concluded with a tour of the African-American Studio Museum. Students learned about contemporary art while experiencing art from prominent African-American artists.

School 13 Parent Appreciation Day School 13

Some scenes from School 13’s Family Appreciation Day event.

Monkey Business

At School 2, Ms. Jessica Egger’s ESL students in grades 3-7 recently completed a study on charitable organizations founded by kids. After researching Free the Children, Malala Fund, and Kids Saving the Rainforest (KSTR), they voted on which organization they would like to support through their own fundraising event. After settling on KSTR, the students were able to raise nearly $200 by selling cupcakes during their lunch. The money that they raised will be donated to KSTR to build monkey bridges in the Costa Rican rainforest.

School 2 raising money

Family and Community Engagement

Ladies, Just For You

Women Empowerment Conference

The School 13 Action Team and Parent Teacher Organization held their first ever Women's Conference on May 6th. Community partners Resurrection Kingdom Ministries and St. Joseph's Healthcare System facilitated workshops on Personal Development including: Save Yourself First and Healthy Relationships & Effective Communication. Goodie bags filled with health & wellness materials provided by St. Joseph's and Start out Fresh Intervention Advocates of Montclair, were distributed to all attendees.

Building the Better Babysitter

Sixth graders at School 27 recently participated in the Safe Sitter Babysitting Course sponsored by St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center and the School 27 PTO.  During the three day, 6 hour course, attendees are taught lifesaving skills and thus become better-informed and better-prepared babysitters. How to interview for a babysitting job, feed and change an infant, and how to deal with behavior issues are just some of the topics covered in this course. Infant and toddler CPR are also taught in case of a choking emergency.

School 27 safe babysitters

Honors and Heritage

Luisaura Hernandez

Academy of Health Science (HARP) student Luisaura Hernandez was honored by the government of the Dominican Republic during a ceremony held at City College in New York City. Luisaura received the “Meritorious Student” Award from the Consulate General of the Dominican Republic, New York.

The President of the Dominican Republic sponsors this program which focuses on encouraging students of Dominican heritage to be prepared academically to impart their knowledge to their communities both at home and abroad. Each student honored received a certificate and medal.

Every Kid in a (National) Park

As part of their Every Kid in a Park initiative and to celebrate the 100th birthday of the National Park Service, Park Rangers from Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park visited several fourth grade classrooms to introduce them to the amazing recreational and educational opportunities at their National Parks. They highlighted the importance of Paterson and the Great Falls to our country’s history as well as the some of the other National Parks in the area. Students were given the opportunity to earn their official Junior Ranger badge and they received a free national park and federal public lands entrance pass. 

Following the preparatory visits from the Rangers, on June 15th, the children had the opportunity to visit Morristown National Historical Park, Paterson Great Falls' sister park.

Jockey HollowJockey HollowJockey Hollow

Celebrating our Natural Wonders in Paint

6th graders from School 20 made four paintings with acrylic paint on canvas to celebrate our U.S. National Parks that are natural wonders. Since some of these students painted the Paterson Great Falls last year, this time they portrayed Yosemite, Yellowstone, Death Valley, and Acadia National Parks. They enjoyed viewing photos of, and learning about these unique places, and expressed interest in visiting all of them someday. They also discussed the importance of environmentalism, combating global warming, and promoting conservation with their art teacher, Mr. Rockland. This work will be displayed this summer at the Thomas Edison National Historic Park in West Orange, NJ.

Death Valley Painting

Efficient and Responsive Operations

Wisdom Transcending the Ages

STEM and the Art of WarThe School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) at JFK recently concluded a Professional Learning Community (PLC) on Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. The PLC, consisting of Principal Nick Vancheri and teachers Charles Coronato, Ryan Maddock, Julie Vysotsky, Hermes Almeida, Kathleen Sayad, and Eric Glatz, explored Sun Tzu’s words of wisdom and worked on applying them to an educational setting. Throughout this PLC, the teachers examined the ideas of preparation, battle, and knowledge of one’s “opponent” and began discussing how these items apply to the daily work of teachers and administrators.  The group discovered that detailed preparation, which includes a thorough knowledge of one’s “opponent” (in education, the student) and knowing when to use specific “tools” (instructional practices) during “battle” (the classroom) are necessary for success.  In the end, “the diploma at graduation is the victory and the spoil of war”.

This PLC is part of a greater push at STEM to establish communities of practices and affinity spaces where the term “professional development” is replaced by “professional learning.”  The trust that has been built during these PLCs will hopefully translate into effective and collaborative coaching, which in turn will lead to heightened instruction and increases in student achievement.

Orton Gillingham program

This group of Paterson educators has recently completed the Orton Gillingham Program at Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU). The Center for Dyslexia Studies at FDU and Orton Gillingham prepares and certifies teachers to work with the dyslexic.

Partners in Every Way

On Thursday, June 2, School of Education and Training (SET) and Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at JFK teachers and administrators presented at the William Paterson Professional Development Schools Conference. SET Principal MaryAnne Perrotta, STEM Principal Nicholas Vancheri, SET Supervisor Vanessa Serrano, STEM teachers, Muhammad Ali, Somia Benali Amal Abdelhafez , Jessica Katz of SET, and Professor-in-Residence Carole Bruzzano gave a presentation entitled: “Co-Teaching Strategies in Differentiated Classrooms.”  This workshop was not only the culmination of a year-long partnership between SET and STEM which focused on discussing and implementing co-teaching strategies, it was the first step in promoting collaboration across schools and content areas. 

Upcoming Events

June 22: Graduation Day for all high schools except Eastside academies


June 22: Special Meeting of the Board of Education

7:00 p.m. at the Administrative Offices, 90 Delaware Ave. 

June 23: Graduation Day for Eastside academies


July 1 - Aug. 26: Summer School Programs


July 11-29: Preschool Summer Enrichment Program

8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

“It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.”
— Erma Bombeck, American Humorist